Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Revised 1841 is ready

The revised 1841 census transcription for Wing has now been converted to html ready for the website update in December.....phew!

Cutting it fine

Only two days to get the 1841 census updates sorted out so they can be uploaded to the website on the 1st, and I have a small backlog of people I should be emailing as well. Hmmmm. Or Aaaaargh!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

U2 honouring the dead

U2 played in Auckland last night, their first NZ gig since December 1993. Every time they play here they shuffle the setlist to include One Tree Hill, their tribute to their roadie Greg Carroll who was killed in a motorbike accident while running an errand for Bono. The U2 boys outdid themselves, incorporating Maori motifs into the set lighting for the song and taking time to speak about Greg, his tangi and the hill (an Auckland landmark) before and after the song. Definitely one of the best songs of the night. It was followed by Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own, the song Bono wrote for his dad's funeral.

There's a no-camera rule, but everyone's cellphones tend to have a built-in camera these days so I have plenty of not-very-good photos, mostly with a sea of hands all holding up their phones in front of me! These are from the One Tree Hill set.
U2 One Tree Hill set

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

1841 census updates

I have been able to transcribe the previously missing pages from the 1841 census, now to check them and convert the file to looking good for the December update! Anyone out there with COLLYER, CUTLER, HOUNSLOW, PEASE or RANDALL ancestors should be pleased, there's more than one household of each of those surnames in there.

By the way, please feel free to post comments to the blog. I don't bite!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

1841 census

Immediately after my last post, I turned my attention to the straw plaiting summary. It was curious that I couldn't find local straw plait dealer Benjamin RANDALL in 1841. To my horror I have just discovered that he was definitely in Wing - it's just the page he is on was missing from the the original scans I transcribed the 1841 census from.

And what's worse, I have just done a full check and there's eight pages in Wing and another two in Littleworth all missing on the CD I originally used!

Suffice to say getting those transcribed and up is now my number one priority.

Tick Tock

It's the 18th and I have no idea what I will be posting to the site on the 1st. Time is ticking........

The plan was to finally have my overview of the straw plaiting industry in Wing for the December update (then the 1891 census transcription for the January update) but I'm not sure that's going to be achievable as I'm busy all next weekend. I seem to be running out of time!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Ancestry US immigration - free till 30 Nov

Anyone got any Wing people they think went to America? Ancestry has made their US immigration records available free until the end of this month:

And please let me know the details if you find anyone from Wing arriving in the US, sadly you can't search by birthplace (at least, it's not as specific as village).

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Subject Lines

Here's a handy hint, always make sure the subject lines of your emails (and blog posts!) are useful. I do reply to all emails I receive through Wing-OPS except those that get flagged as spam, so having a useful subject line (eg RANDALL of Wing) will make it more likely I'll see you! Just "Wing" or "Wing-OPS" won't necessarily do it, the spammers know those :) Today I received three messages with the subject line "Hello" - two were spam, but one was a real message which very nearly got deleted.

On the topic of my own personal "subject lines" I did have a very productive session at the local library with the OFHS fiche the other day. As well as more of my CRUTCHes (this time under Croch/Crotch/Crouch) I found some of my IMPEYs - recorded as EMPY by that particular vicar or clerk. Unfortunately I have a feeling my newly discovered BOSDEL/BASDALE ancestor is going to prove troublesome.....

Sunday, November 12, 2006

All roads lead to Bucks

All genealogists know that a certain amount of lateral thinking and branch digging is required in order to make progress from time to time, and I've just seen this again within my CRUTCH family (not a Wing line). Mother Ann, maiden name IMPEY, died in the 1860s, father John is boarding with his brother in 1871 - but where are the younger children? Not under Crutch/Cruch/Crnch/Crnich (all the variations I saw yesterday in!), but by looking for just Ellen (no surname) born stad* (for Stadhampton, Oxf) I found her in Berkshire - mistranscribed as Butch rather than Crutch, although to be fair the enumerator's handwriting makes this particular mistranscription perfectly forgiveable. My reward for eventually finding her? She is the niece in the household of John & Mary HUTT and widowed father-in-law Joseph Impey. So now I have my Ann's father and sister (and by tracing Joseph back through the earlier census records while dodging the TMPY mistranscriptions, Ann's likely mother and a few more siblings). And, unsurprisingly, Joseph turned out to be from Bucks, this time Bierton - Bucks locations just keep popping up on all branches of the tree!

Sadly I still can't find Ann Impey in 1841, she's not with her parents and is probably just old enough to be out as a servant somewhere, anywhere .......there's one possibility in Burford but I'm not convinced. So today I'm off to our local library to check their OFHS parish transcription fiche in the hope I missed some useful IMPEY information the first time round, perhaps I can definitively link the Thomas IMPEY my potential Ann candidate is living with to the Stadhampton IMPEYs.

Meanwhile in Wing the first three pages of the second enumeration district of 1891 are now complete.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Over the last couple of days I've been working with Margaret trying to identify her SMITHs. We can't even tell for sure whether her William Smith did come from Wing, let alone which one of the multiple candidates he might be.

It's hard enough trying to research common names, I know this from looking at my own Hughes and White families. It's even harder if your lot never stayed still for more than five minutes - and while there have been plenty of Smiths in Wing over the last 400 years there seems to be barely a single one that spent their whole life in the village with their major life events dutifully recorded in the parish registers. So my sympathies to the Smith researchers out there.

The first enumeration district of the 1891 census transcription is now done - of course, the second enumeration district is bigger.....

Sunday, November 05, 2006


Fireworks display, Auckland 4 Nov 2006
Remember, remember the 5th of November.........I wonder how long it took for the news to travel by word of mouth to rural Bucks? And would it have had any more direct relevance for our ag lab ancestors than it does for us today?

I dare say it was much closer to home for the openly Catholic Dormer family who owned Ascott. The plot was overseen by Robert Catesby - was this a relation of Dorothy Catesby who married Sir William Dormer of Wing and founded the almhouses of Wing in 1562? Dorothy died in 1613 and her son Robert Lord Dormer held Ascott in 1605.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Making friends

So many lovely people who are also researching their Wing families get in touch with me by email, but it's fun to finally meet one in person! Jill lives within driving distance of me, and we managed to get together today and compare our collections of goodies. Thanks Jill, for letting me wade through your books and files and records and photos and correspondence - I had fun :)

Meandering from my head to yours

While continuing to slog through the 1891 census transcription for Wing, I started to worry that you, dear reader, might be sitting out there wondering why it wasn't finished yet when I've been claiming it's "coming soon" for months I thought a more informal forum might be called for. I'll keep you updated on exactly what I'm doing behind the scenes and other little research bits and bobs that might prove interesting.

So - 1891, now up to page 23 of 62. I got a couple more pages done yesterday.

I've also been working on a page about the straw plaiting industry in Wing for some time now. Unfortunately I decided I would need some stats about the proportion of Wing people employed by that industry, and to do that I needed each census year's data in a handy electronic form. And the most comprehensive way to do that was to transcribe each year - hence the 1891 census transcript. However in the interest of getting that straw plaiting info up some time this decade I think I'll take a few short-cuts for 1881 and 1901 and just flick through each page adding up the relevant numbers.....

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